Founded in 2008, the Neknasi Coffee Growers Cooperative Society has a membership of 422 coffee farmers located in Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea.
Background & Structure
The organisation is made up of farmers from eight villages (Bandong, Bosagen, Kasin, Munengan, Sadau, Sikilan, Sokam, and Wasin) and 43 tribes. Neknasi served as the pilot project for Papua New Guinea’s Coffee Industry Corporation, and is now a model to be replicated with the support of CIC extension officers by other coffee producer organisations throughout Papua New Guinea. Neknasi achieved Fairtrade certification in early 2011.
Neknasi’s General Assembly is its highest decision making body. The organisation has a Board to oversee Neknasi’s activities, and a management team implements them. It is also developing a number of committees to address the specific needs of Neknasi communities.
Production & Sales
The organisation produces an average of 120 tonnes of green beans each year. It owns a centrally-located warehouse in Sikilan village and has built a small storage facility in each village where parchment coffee is stored until it is delivered to the coffee mill contracted by Neknasi where it is processed into green coffee, and then transported on to its exporter, Niugini Coffee, Tea and Spices. The Board members report that the organisation’s production levels could be increased with better access to transport and better farm management practices such as weeding and pruning.
At the time of writing, Neknasi was working towards achieving organic certification through NASAA.
Fairtrade is new to Neknasi. Members are interested in the potential that Fairtrade certification can bring to their villages, and are enthusiastic about the benefits they receive through Fairtrade certification. As part of their commitment to Fairtrade the organisation has established its own system of monitoring, supervising and reporting that consists of a series of Fairtrade Certification Committees for compliance with the Standards. These include the Social Committee, Economic Committee, Environmental Protection Committee and Labour Policy Committee.
Fairtrade Premium Projects
Based on the express needs of the Neknasi Coffee Growers’ Cooperative Society, there is significant potential for development through the Fairtrade Premium. The sale of Fairtrade certified coffee has earned USD 16,000 for Neknasi which will be used for a planned water supply project.
- Each of Neknasi’s villages has a piping system which collects and directs river water into the centre of the village. A representative from CIC notes that these piping systems do not direct water into individual households and farms.
- Neknasi is developing a plan to use its first Fairtrade Premium to expand and improve its current water supply system to include coffee gardens close to members’ villages.
- Neknasi purchased diesel fuel for machinery used during road maintenance to ensure coffee can be transported to the mill on time.
- Neknasi has a women’s committee, as well as female representatives in the Fairtrade Premium Committee. There is also a midwife’s training programme located in one of the villages.
- Neknasi distributed vegetable seedling packets to the women of each subgroup, and plans to assist with the sale of the vegetables produced.
- The construction of a dry coffee mill funded by members’ contributions and external donors is currently being planned for Neknasi.